How to Count Cards Using the Red Seven System

Snyder’s Red Seven Mixes Counting with Strategy Changes

The Red Seven card counting system first appeared in the book ‘Blackbelt in Blackjack’ by Arnold Snyder which first appeared in the early 1980’s. The system is a slightly unusual one, as in the case of the sevens it is suit specific. Overall, it is considered less complicated than many other blackjack systems. This system makes use of just a single count, where many others need an extra calculation to find the ‘true count’. With just a single count, you’ll know immediately when the conditions are ideal for increasing the size of your bet, and you won’t need to make any approximations about the number of decks remaining.

One interesting addition to the red seven counting system is the addition of strategy changes in certain situations, which will affect whether you hit or stand.

The Red Seven Card Counting System – How it Works

Unlike ‘balanced’ card systems, you won’t start the count at zero. The number you’ll start at depends on the number of decks in the shoe – simply multiply this number by -2. For example, if there are six decks in the shoe, the initial count should be -12. You’ll now add or subtract from the count based on the following values:

A two, three, four, five or six will add 1 to the count.

A ten, jack, queen, king and ace will subtract 1 from the count.

An 8 and 9 are both neutral cards so the count will remain the same.

A red seven adds 1 to the count.

A black seven is neutral so the count remains the same.

The count will always start with a negative number and the cards become favorable to the player when (or if) the count moves into positive numbers. This is the point when you should be raising the stakes, with the maximum stakes being played if the count reaches the heights of around +15 or +16.

In addition to the bet sizing, there is some added strategy to employ based on the count.

If the running count is 0 or higher you should stand when you have 16, when the dealer has a 10.

If the running count is 0 or higher you should stand when you have 12, when the dealer has a 3.

If the running count is +2 or higher you should stand when you have 15, when the dealer has a 10.

If the running count is +2 or higher you should stand when you have 12, when the dealer has a 2.

If the running count is +2 or higher you should double down a total of 10, when the dealer has an Ace.

Like any other strategies, it can be an idea to keep an eye on the number of aces appearing. If there are more aces in the pack than there should be, you’ll have more chance of hitting blackjack, so this is another reason to increase the stake.

Putting the Red Seven Strategy into Play

Before you take the Red Seven strategy into a live casino, you should get a feel for the card counting first. Take a single deck of cards and start the count at -2 and by the time you have reached the end of the deck the count should be zero. Once you have become proficient, you’ll be more equipped to take it into the casino, where you’ll be faced with the added distractions.

If you are considering card counting, you should ensure that your overall blackjack strategy is solid, otherwise any card counting systems, however good, is sure to fail. With this solid strategy in place, the additional strategies in use at this system should be easy to add to your game.

The Red Seven Card Counting System – Example

You sit down to play at a new game with a total of 6 decks in the shoe, so the count will start at -12. After playing through half of the cards, the count becomes 0. In the next hand you see a three, a four, a six, a jack, a queen and a red seven appear. The three, four, six and the red seven each add 1 to the count, while the jack and the queen each subtract 1 from the count. This makes the new count +2. The conditions are now ideal to increase the bet size, while all the additional strategies now also come into play (with the count at 0 before the current hand, two of the five strategies should have already been in play).

The Red Seven Card Counting System – Overview

For an accurate and profitable system, the Red Seven system is ideal. With just a single count to worry about, at first the system is less complicated than others, although this is offset by the added strategies you’ll have to learn, while you’ll also have to be careful to differentiate the red and black sevens.